Guns N’ Roses was unplugged during the band’s headlining set at BottleRock Napa Valley on Saturday, Sept. 4, by festival promoters for breaking the strict 10 p.m. curfew at the Napa Valley Expo.
The move sparked a wave of boos from the crowd as the rockers tried to complete their 1987 hit “Paradise City.” But that didn’t totally kill the night’s vibe. Fans began belting out the last few bars, helping frontman Axl Rose with the song’s final line: “Oh, won’t you please take me home!”
Then Rose threw his mike off stage, took a bow and walked off with the rest of the band trailing behind, including Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, who had joined the band on guitar for its encore.
With the Napa Valley Expo located in a residential area that has houses facing the main stage, the curfew was set when neighbors complained about the noise after BottleRock’s inaugural year in 2013.
And just like that, @gunsnroses closed the show. 🔥
See you tomorrow, for the final day of BottleRock 2021 🙌
📸 Chris Tuite pic.twitter.com/u2U5LB9pkf
— BottleRock Napa (@BottleRockNapa) September 5, 2021
Guns N’ Roses had been playing since about 7:30 p.m. before its set came to an abrupt end, running through a setlist loaded with hits such as “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” as well as covers of the Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog” and Wings’ “Live and Let Die.”
While officials promptly turned off speakers and video screens on the main JaM Cellars Stage, Guns N’ Roses and Grohl kept playing through 10:03 p.m.
The band was also joined by Pink for a rendition of “Patience” during the encore performance.
The headlining set marked Guns N’ Roses’ first Northern California appearance since 2016 with a partially reconstituted lineup featuring Rose with original guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan.
— Mariecar Mendoza (@SFMarMendoza) September 5, 2021
Nearby at the Verizon Stage, pop star Miley Cyrus ended her closing night set three minutes early with her 2009 hit “Party in the U.S.A.”
BottleRock, which reported 96% of the festival attendees showed proof of vaccination on its first day, wraps up Sunday, Sept. 5, with the Foo Fighters scheduled to headline the JaM Cellars Stage, while Megan Thee Stallion closes out at the Verizon Stage.
Chronicle Senior Arts and Entertainment Editor Mariecar Mendoza and freelance writer Yoshi Kato contributed to this report.